Weekly Northwest Iowa DNR Fishing Report

Northwest Iowa — This weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys and county and state parks staff. You can check the activity of your favorite lake or stretch of river within each district, including which species are being caught, a rating of the bite (slow, fair, good or excellent), as well as a hot bait or lure pattern.

Arrowhead Lake
Water temperature is in the lower 60s. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappie along shore near woody structure; use small jigs and minnows. Bluegill – Fair: As the water warms up again this week, expect to see bluegill nests along shore and in areas of 2-6 feet of water with gravel/sand. These can be great areas to target larger bluegill with a small jig fished under a bobber.

Black Hawk Lake
The dredge is working in the east basin of the lake. The floating and submerged portions of pipe is marked with buoys. Dredge barges are marked with buoys; boaters should use caution and stay away from the equipment and pipe. Water levels are about 9 inches below the crest of the spillway. Surface water temperature is around 60 degrees, but will likely warm up fast with the warmer weather expected throughout the weekend. Water clarity is roughly 1.5 feet. Black Crappie – Good: Most fish are 8- to 11-inches. Find fish close to shore in 1-3 feet of water. Use small hair jigs (with or without bait), small live minnows or marabou jigs fished from shore. Areas along the stone pier, the fish house and along Ice House Point are the most popular spots; fish are being seen anywhere along rocky shorelines and dock/boat lift poles. Bluegill – Fair: Find bluegills along shore. Fish are 6- to 7-inches. Areas along shore in Town Bay and near the stone piers may be most productive. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are catching fish from shore and by boat. Boat anglers are trolling crankbaits with good success. Shore anglers are doing well using twisters or shallow diving crankbaits. Water clarity is roughly 3 feet. Also try leaches or crawler fished under a bobber from shore.

Brushy Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie action has picked up; they are being caught from the jetty and along shore in 5-20 feet of water near submerged trees. Use a small jig (with or without bait) or small minnows on a jig. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use plastics and traditional bass lures along submerged woody structure near shore. Walleye – Fair: Shore anglers are having luck near the beach and at the north end. Try throwing twisters or fishing with minnows or leaches under a bobber. Yellow Perch – Slow.

North Twin Lake
Water levels are about a foot below the crest of the spillway; use caution when launching boats. Water temperatures are in the mid 60s. Water clarity is roughly 1.5 feet. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie are near shore. Fish are 7- to 12-inches. Use small jigs and minnows from shore near downed trees in the water and along the docks by dock and lift poles. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellow bass are close to shore. Most fish are 7- to 8-inches.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Surface water temperatures are in the low 60s. All walleye between 19 and 25-inches must be immediately released unharmed at Storm Lake; no more than one walleye longer than 25-inches can be taken per day. Black Crappie – Fair: Use small live minnows and small jigs along shore docks, lifts and anywhere with rocky structure. Channel Catfish – Fair: Storm Lake has a good population of 3-5 pound catfish. Try cut bait, liver or crawlers fished on the bottom along shore. Walleye – Fair: The walleye action has picked up. Try fishing from shore with a lead head with a twister tail. Also try a jig with a crawler or tipped with a minnow. Shallow diving crankbaits can also work well from shore. Boat anglers are having luck with crawler harnesses and trolling crankbaits.

Surface water temperatures have dropped into the lower 60s in most area lakes, but will quickly warm up with the higher temperatures expected this weekend. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Try small tube jigs fished along downed shoreline trees and the causeway area. Yellow Bass – Fair: Use small jigs or bobbers with live bait.

Clear Lake
The lake is 2.8 inches above crest. Water temperatures are in the low 60s. Clear Lake has a protected slot on walleye. All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be immediately released unharmed. No more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie have moved into rush beds to spawn. Use small jigs and minnows fished in open pockets of the rush beds. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or crawlers on the wind-swept shore and spots where water is flowing into the lake. Walleye – Good: Try crankbaits trolled over the top of aquatic vegetation in the western basin. Spinner rigs and slip bobbers with live bait are also providing good action. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellow Bass have moved in to spawn on shallow rocky shorelines. Use small jigs or plastics. Best bite is early morning.

Lake Smith
Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie have moved near shore to spawn. Try small jigs along the dam and off the fishing piers. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use crankbaits and spinnerbaits along the shoreline.

Rice Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a piece of nightcrawler. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are starting to move into shoreline areas to spawn. Use small jigs tipped with a piece of crawler. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Try crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs.

For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

East Okoboji Lake
Lake temperature is in the mid-60s. The water level is 3 inches over crest. The walleye season is open. There has been a fairly good crappie and bluegill bite recently. Fish are moving shallower. Trolling has been working very well. Black Crappie – Good. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Fair: Try spinners, crankbaits and long and shallow shad raps. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Lost Island Lake
Many anglers have been successful lately; some sorting may be needed depending on which species you are targeting. Black Crappie – Good. Walleye – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
Bluegill and crappie fishing has been good; some sorting may be needed. Black Crappie – Good. Bluegill – Good.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
The late afternoon bite has been good lately. Walleye – Fair: Try spinners, crankbaits and long and shallow shad raps.

Spirit Lake
Water temperature is in the low 60s. The lake is 18 inches below crest, making launching boats more difficult. Courtesy docks are in place. The walleye season is open. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a tube jig and bobber. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Fair: Use spinners, crankbaits and long and shallow shad raps. Yellow Perch – Fair.

West Okoboji Lake
Water temperature is in the lower 60s. The water level is 3 inches over crest. The panfish bite has been good around docks and hoists; many species of fish are starting to move in shallower. The walleye season is open. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair. Smallmouth Bass – Fair.

Courtesy docks are in place. Water temperatures have cooled a bit due to the recent cool weather and rain. Most lakes are in the mid-50s to mid-60s. Forecast hot and windy conditions should bring water temperatures up quickly again. Area water levels are around crest. Water clarity has been fairly good on most area lakes. Bass and panfish are moving to shallower water from the basins, making shore and dock fishing easier. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.